Thursday, December 02, 2004


Extreme poverty makes people sad.
After controlling for other factors, Dr. Kahneman and his colleagues found that even differences in household income of more than $60,000 had little effect on daily moods. Job security, too, had little influence.
This is good. It justifies my wanting to do development. For if level of income has little impact on happiness then how do you justify doing development? Well you can and do -- it turns out that inequality has its own moral pull . But the strict Benthamite justification is so much more appealing: raising people's income makes them happier! If development works, then I can make people happier. Yay!


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